Friday, May 18, 2012

Oil Money's Dream update

I created a Facebook page for this mare--I post all updates, as well as other tidbits about her, and jewelry for sale to support her cause, on this page. So please "like" it and follow it!

I am still working to get this mare retired and back to Illinois. She raced on Monday, May 14 (Lim's birthday) and finished a game fifth. My hunch tells me that her trainer, Baird, will want to try running her once more (she is eligible to run just one more time at Mountaineer), but if at possible I would like to purchase him from her before she runs again.

There's a lot of "hurry up and wait" in this situation--and waiting is hard to do.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy 21st birthday to Limerick!

I treated Lim to a birthday massage. She enjoyed it very much!

Yesterday I rode her for the first time in two weeks, and the first time outside in over a month. I was expecting some minor stiffness, leftover from when she was chased around the pasture in pasture board try #2 (did I post about that?! I need to check back--there's a crazy story to go with it!). She was indeed a bit stiff early on but once she warmed up, she moved very freely and felt good.

Isn't this the best view on earth? Yes it is!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Oil Money's Dream--a quest from TB to OTTB

In my last post, I mentioned purchasing/obtaining a racehorse. Here is her story.

Sometime in 2009, my husband was at Arlington Park for a routine day of handicapping. While looking over the PP's there, he noticed the damsire of a particular horse: Hot Oil. The name caught his eye because not only is that Limerick's sire, but it's also a name that you don't see much these days.

He was able to get a look at her, and reported back to me that she was a small mare with a blaze--well now, that sounds like my kind of horse! I eventually saw her for myself, and she was indeed cute--very cute. Standing about 15.1 or 15.2, her "shape" is almost like that of a cross between a Quarter Horse and Arab, rather than a Thoroughbred. She had a wispy, thin tail and big soulful eyes. Her name was Oil Money's Dream.

Oil Money's Dream at Arlington Park, June 2010

I added her to my Virtual Stable and began following her. She would finish in the money sometimes, and it was cool to see a 'niece' of Limerick's running. In early 2011, I found out that Owen Rainwater, her trainer, passed away. I wasn't sure what would happen to the mare. A few months later, I got a notification that she was at Mountaineer under Bart Baird. She won her first race with him.

I hoped she would be okay there, despite the track not having the most stellar of reputations. A few months went by and I didn't receive any more notifications. Then in February, I received a single workout notification for her at Mountaineer. She did 3f in 39:20, ranking 28 out of 33 for the day.

After that day, she was entered in races nearly every other week, starting in March.

March 5: 5k claimer, finished 7th, beaten by 9 lengths
March 16, 5k claimer, finished 5th, beaten by 3 lengths
April 6, 5k claimer, finished 5th, beaten by 8-1/2 lengths
April 24, 5k claimer, finished 5th, beaten by 11 3/4 lengths

Each race had 7-8 horses on average. This mare was clearly tiring, and she was being over-run, particularly for a nine year old mare. While it's not uncommon to see geldings being raced up to this age, it is unusual to see mares still on the track when they are approaching double digits in age.

I began to worry about this mare. Finally, I began asking around. "What can I do? I can't afford another horse, but I want to help this one somehow." Most people had no answer for me, but finally I found a woman that gave me the name of another, who in turn gave me the names and contact information of a couple ladies at Mountaineer that could help.

"What can I do?" turned into "How can I do this?", which turned into deciding that I was willing to pay money--$300--for this mare, which gave me the confidence to try to get in touch with Baird via my contacts at the track.We contacted him on May 2, and his response was that he wanted to enter the mare in another race in a couple weeks. Depending upon how she did in that one, he would either enter her again or give her up to me.

I began asking for advice regarding the next step. Initially, I thought I would try to find a home for her closer to Mountaineer. But I hardly know anyone close to the track. One of the women I asked for advice--Lori--suggested that I have the mare vanned back to IL. That way it would be much easier for me to rehome her. With that seed planted in my head, I began digging around for possible homes, as well as how I could have her vanned from Mountaineer.

Unfortunately, while there are routes from Mountaineer to Hawthorne or Arlington, they are not very common. Furthermore, I was quoted anywhere from $450 to $1500 for this! Then Lori had a suggestion--for the cost of diesel, she and I could road trip it to Mountaineer to pick the mare up ourselves. At around the same time, Christine with Teener Thoroughbreds said she had a stall for the mare at her barn. The fact that Christine is experienced in rehabbing and re-homing fresh-off-the-track Thoroughbreds is a huge plus!

All at once, the plans came together. All we need to do is wait for Oil Money's Dream to be entered in a race, and after she runs, my husband will reach out to Baird the night of, or day after, the race. Hopefully he will decide it's time to retire this little old warrior of a racemare.

In the meantime, to offset some costs, I am going to hold a small fundraiser by selling some moderately-priced handmade sterling silver jewelry. 100% of the proceeds from this will go towards the mare. More details on the jewelry to come....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


 I have a lot of updates! First of all, Lim's chest is all but normal now. You can see a tiny, tiny spot of pink flesh but that is quickly filling in. She also has some scar tissue beneath that area, but it doesn't bother her, nor is it visible.

We had a big storm last Thursday. I took some photos as it was rolling in. The last one shows a funnel cloud--scary! That picture makes me think "Auntie Em!". Fortunately it dispersed not long after I took the pic.

Then on Saturday was try #2 for getting Limerick out in the pasture. Since my gut told me to not try again but my heart and mind said "do it, it's healthier for her", I asked a few people after she was injured about what I should do. Most of them said to give it another shot because that injury was likely a freak accident. 

But on Saturday, when I put led Lim towards the pasture and put her in there, she was fidgety and anxious. She clearly didn't want to go in there. And it was immediately clear why--the same paint horse that had been terrorizing her during try #1 came galloping over at breakneck speed. The chase was on, but Lim was fortunately able to outrun him. She ran over to the opposite end of the pasture, out of sight from this horse. With a heavy heart, I walked over to where she was. 

A part of me felt like I should bring her in, while another part of me thought, "What if that was it--no more chasing?". I told her I would come back in a few hours and left.

But it wasn't to be--that horse kept chasing her again and again. I received texts about the same horse chasing her, so right after the Kentucky Derby, I headed over to the barn to bring poor Lim in. She was very glad to see me and so sore and exhausted than she began tying up when I brought her back to the barn. I gave her water, quickly groomed the dried sweat marks off her, then put her in the stall with fresh water and lots of hay. She drank long and heavy, and I re-filled her bucket. She ate hungrily, her hindquarters trembling. I wanted to see her pee so I waited around until she did. The amount wasn't as much as I would prefer, but the color was good and normal. After allowing her to eat hay for a half hour, I gave her wetted-down grain and lots of peppermint oil. I returned a couple hours later to check on her and she was so tired that she began dozing off after eating an apple. But besides that she appeared better, and by the next day was nearly normal (although clearly muscle-sore).

Just another example of needing to trust your gut, I guess. And the Kentucky Derby? Wow--I barely know what to say about it after all the issues with Limerick. But give me a couple weeks!

I also have some big news about another area of racing--rescue-purchasing a racehorse my husband and I have been following for a few years. More details on that later!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Limerick and Joey last Friday

Her chest is doing great! The wound is smaller than a dime now. Pasture boarding, part two, begins this Saturday (Derby Day!)

I rode for the first time in nearly a month last night and Lim was wonderful. Things are slowly returning to normal, and I hope they stay that way. Knock on wood.